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Brothers sentenced over unsafe work at height

Date:
28 August 2015

Two brothers have been fined for allowing employees to work at height unsafely after workers were spotted while building an agricultural farm building in Lewes. 

The brothers who are directors of building firm G E White and Sons Ltd had workers constructing a steel frame building at a property on Blakeney Avenue, Lewes on 17 March 2015. 

An inspector from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told the court he saw roof sheets being fitted at approximately four to five meters from the floor with no safety netting or scaffold, and workers standing on roof sheets. 

They were immediately served with a Prohibition Notice preventing them from continuing work until the safety issues were remedied. However when HSE visited the site again six days later the structure was only half netted and one side of the scaffold had been removed.

The court heard back in 2011 exactly the same issue had been identified on another site on the Directors and an Improvement Noticed had been issued to their company, G E White and Sons Ltd to put in place a management system. 

Jason and Gary White, both directors of construction firm G E White & Sons Ltd, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for failure to comply with Section 4 1(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 at Worthing Magistrates’ Court. 

Jason White of Chapel Field House, Lewes, East Sussex and his brother Gary White of The Meadows, Lewes, East Sussex were each fined £6000 and ordered to pay costs of £1362 between them. 

Notes to Editors: 

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk 
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/  
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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